When we had baby number one, we were broke students. I had no money and we turned to God for supply.
We were not in India and did not want to ask for help from people in India. We reached out in prayers.
I was overwhelmed by how strangers came forward to give us hand me down toys, clothes, new crib, new car seat.
So my first child I never bought a playmat. I got a hand me down.
For my second child, things were better. We were blessed with money and were near family.
I think for second child we bought everything new. If I knew other parents here I probably would have stuck to hand me downs only or second hand as you call it.
So this takes us to the question if I were to buy a playmat…
Are playmats worth it?
Aah the question every parent thinks of some day or the other…
Is the purchase justified?
As a new parent we are obsessed ( at least I was) of getting the next best thing on the block for kiddo.
But costs add up… and don’t forget we have diapers to buy, clothes to buy, organic detergents… sigh..
Playmats can give you the the much needed rest you need. If your child is around 8 weeks and older , consider investing in a playmat for your baby.
There are many parents who swear their newborn loved it, but I am not sure of that. I mean doesn’t baby have to be able to move around? But then each baby is different and you know your child better than anyone else.
Are playmats necessary ?
Nope they are not.
You can always be creative and use other ways to keep your child happy.
If you are looking for something to keep your baby occupied and give yourself a much needed break a playmat can be very useful.
Nowadays you get interactive playmats which can distract your child anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour. Now thats totally worth it.
You could clean the room, take a short coffee break, watch something, read a book.
Are playmats washable?
Look at the product description before purchasing one. Some are washable and some aren’t.
It should mention washable or machine washable.
Here are my tips for deciding whether it is washable or not
- If it has electronic parts, it can’t be washed.
- If it has mirrors etc attached to it, generally it might be difficult to wash that in the washing machine.
How to clean baby playmat ?
Okay… those companies might shoot me… but here it goes…
Playmat manufacturers will often mention wipe clean or surface clean only or sponge clean.
What this means is that you clean with a damp sponge or moist cloth and dab it dry.
Now lets be practical here.
Baby food, dried food, and the other etceteras will NOT be removed by this procedure.So this is what I did, and yes it is said not to do it.
Either I handwash or machine wash ( mostly machine wash) using a eco-friendly detergent.
In the machine wash at 30 degrees or less, gentle wash ( I have wool wash) and then hang it to dry.
Yes if it has some glass or those fake mirrors they might look hazed but that’s what I do.
You could also handwash using organic detergents and hang dry. By the way sun is the best sanitizer ( yes sun discolours also).
Are playmats good for newborns ?
Playmats are good for babies as they help them develop self-awareness, logic, co-ordination.
Your baby is a complete individual.
The baby has the same intelligence and awareness you and me have.
Yes doctors do compartmentalize and mention at 6 weeks baby can do this, at 2 months this…
But really your baby is such an intelligent, creative, curious child.
Playmats make them learn to recognize colours, reach out and touch the hanging toys, make an effort to kick and make music.
I generally feel that it is best to introduce babies to anything right when they are little.
My kids loved and stuck on to stuff I had either purchased or borrowed when they were little.
They love the smell, touch and feel of items they are familiar with. This makes travel so much easier, just make sure you have the favorite blanket, squeaky book and playmat.
Also playmats are good for starting baby on the tummy time.
There are many ideas on when and at what age to start a baby on tummy time. My babies were started on tummy time very early on. Make sure they sleep on the back ( till they are one or older) and then introduce moments of tummy time for short moments through the day ( 5 to 15 minutes supervised tummy time).
What are playmats made of ?
Playmats can be made from rubber, cloth, foam. Most playmats which are foam based are made of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). This is not safe and can be harmful.
Are foam play mats safe?
EVA foams have Formamide which can be carcinogenic and can be having toxins. So yes stay away from these.
What age are playmats for ?
I dont want you to buy a playmat thinking it is necessary and something you have to buy for your baby to be happy and become intelligent.
Nothing is more important than having loved ones around. In my village sarees from grandmothers were circulated so that babies could be laid on them. Yes we turned out fine.
Playmats do tend to help in nuclear families, single parent homes. We are exhausted need a break and it might be easy to have baby on the playmat next to us while we catch up on some book or quiet time.
It helps that baby is super happy are engaged because that means the parent can get some more rest.
Best Playmats for Babies in India
It has a teething rubber which babies love. It comes with a mirror which babies are fascinated with.
Most parents love the adjustable arms which can be adjusted at two levels. It is perfect for travel as it is compact when folded.
- Can be collapsed easily
- Easy to wash and clean
- Toys can be switched out
- Toys can be washed
- Folds up easily
- Sensory toys which rattle and crinkle
- Baby can pull on rings
- Teething rubber
- pillow can be slippery
Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym comes with a pillow which can be used under babys arms or chest for support ( very useful for tummy time ).